Jason Sieve led with 18 points and Greg Hendrix came off the bench and added 14 to lead the Olentangy boys basketball team to a 67-49 non-league win at Big Walnut Jan. 10 in Sunbury.
“I think we were moving the ball really well – picking our spots to attack,” Hendrix said. “We were able to score and get some steals and then work in transition.”
Olentangy (5-5), which won its third game in a row, started 11-2 before using a 12-0 run in the third quarter to create distance.
“Our schedule was brutal at the beginning and (I told) our guys that they have to keep working hard and getting better and keep improving and improving and it will show,” Olentangy coach John Feasel said. “It’s starting to show a little bit.”
Jerred Kinnaird had 10 points and eight rebounds and Sean Marks totaled 10 points and three assists for Olentangy. Sieve finished with three steals and Hendrix pulled down six boards.
“(Sieve) is confident right now – he thinks he can take about anybody and he’s probably right,” Feasel said. “When (Sieve’s) going, that makes Sean (Marks) get open shots and makes Greg Hendrix get wide open shots and it helps Kinnaird out because he doesn’t have any double-teams, so he can get some shots.”
Marks scored Olentangy’s first four points and Sieve capped the first-quarter run with a basket off a Marks steal and a three-pointer off a Marks assist to give Olentangy an 11-2 edge with 4:29 left in the first quarter.
Ben Saxe hit a pair of threes as Big Walnut (0-10) pulled to 15-12, but Hendrix knocked down a three-pointer to give Olentangy an 18-12 lead at the end of one.
“Against a team like (Olentangy), if you lose somebody on the defensive end or make a careless turnover against the press, they’re going to (make you) pay for it,” BW coach Brett Bartlett said. “We had too many lapses early on – toward the end of the second quarter and definitely early in the third quarter where they got too many easy baskets.”
Hendrix and Sieve accounted for all nine points in the second quarter as Olentangy pushed its lead to 27-18 at the break.
Marks and Kinnaird scored four points apiece to pace Olentangy during a 12-0 run to pull away in the third. Olentangy led 47-29 through three.
Henry von Hollen finished with 18 points and five rebounds for the Golden Eagles and Saxe added 14 points, four rebounds and three steals.
“We didn’t play very good defense tonight,” Bartlett said. “A lot of that is their offense – they’re pretty skilled, they’re pretty smart and they can all shoot the ball. (von Hollen) is scoring the ball for us and he’s got to continue to do that for us to have a chance.”
Next up, both teams return to action Friday night at 7:30 p.m. BW hosts Franklin Heights in OCC-Capital play and Olentangy hosts rival Olentangy Orange in OCC-Buckeye action.
Follow Michael Rich on Twitter @mrichdelgazette.